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We bought a new house! Well, ok, we put an offer on a house and it was accepted. Not the same as buying a new house, but still. I’m excited! If you haven’t bought a house before, here’s what to expect from the process:

Earnest Money

I dropped off a check at the title company for this transaction. It’s basically a deposit to show your offer is serious and the amount is applied to the closing costs when the transaction is completed.

Schedule an inspection

We started out with loan pre-approval and a realtor, so those bases are covered. Now that we found a house and our offer was accepted, we need to schedule an inspection. We searched Yelp for recommendations in our area and talked to our realtor about who she uses. We have a couple candidates and we are reaching out to see who’s available and what the cost is. Once we decide who to use, we will schedule an appointment with the inspector, the listing agent, and our agent.

Get an FBI background check

I kid. It just feels that way. The mortgage loan provider will still want all your financial information in order to get your loan through their underwriting department. This usually requires submitting pay stubs, W2s, tax returns from previous years, and any other forms they need.

It can feel a little invasive and a bit annoying, especially when they ask why there are 4 inquiries on your credit report recently and you have to explain that you were shopping for mortgages. Der. Do people still say der?


Normally the lender will schedule an appraisal of the property. This is different than the assessment used for property taxes and is not nearly as invasive as the inspection should be.

Basically, the lender you chose will schedule someone to go look at the house and the property and they will determine what it’s value is. If it’s equal to or more than the amount you are borrowing, you are good. If it’s not, then it’s back to negotiations with the seller.

Ours is scheduled for next week. Our lender wants to close the sale quickly, so he’s pushing stuff through. It’s pretty awesome.

“Quiet Time” 

Once all the paperwork is submitted, the inspection (and any negotiations needed after the inspection results are back) is complete and the appraisal is done, it’s time to wait.

The lender for the mortgage is processing all the paperwork, and this takes time. There will probably also be forms and paperwork from the title company you will need to review, so that will be fun. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to hurry this part along. Banks usually take as much time as the government to get anything done, so it will just take patience.

Sign your life away

Again, I kid. Mostly. The stack of forms to sign is MASSIVE. But it’s worth it, right? Because when you are done, you have a new house! This is the most tedious part, in my opinion, but also the best part. Our sales agreement says we get possession on the date the sale closes, so once all the forms are signed, we get the keys and we get to move in!

Since we just bought a new house (sort of), we are still in the beginning stages of this process, but I’ll update as we go. Please keep in mind that this is a very basic explanation of this process, and I’m not a realtor. The details will be different for everyone, and you should consult a professional before you make any decisions. Especially with money!

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